Sindh wants ban on inter-provincial transport from Punjab, KP

KARACHI/LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani on Monday demanded for banning inter-provincial transport, including air and rail from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan, as the country reported 43 more deaths, including a doctor in Peshawar, and 4,323 new virus cases during the last 24 hours.

Addressing a press conference in Karachi, Ghani said number of coronavirus cases could rapidly increase in Sindh if people continued to commute from Punjab and KP. He said the situation in Sindh was under control in terms of Covid-19 infections but it could get worse if the inter-provincial transport continued to run.

On the closure of primary to middle classes in the province, the minister said the classes had been temporarily halted as a precautionary measure to save children from the pandemic. He made it clear that students in Sindh would not be promoted to the next classes this year without appearing in examinations.

On Sunday, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) had suspended inter-provincial transport for two days a week (Saturday and Sunday) after sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

Talking to a private news channel, Punjab Health minister Yasmin Rashid said on Monday the government’s smart-lockdown strategy was appearing to be having a positive effect in Lahore, where Covid-19 cases were declining gradually.

Rashid said the Punjab government had tightened restrictions and imposing fines across the province to control the Covid-19 spread. “For the last few days the Punjab health department is seeing that the measures that we have been working on population level are giving some positive results,” she said while urging the masses to show responsibility to follow the SOPs given by the health authorities. “We cannot control the pandemic without the help from the masses.”

She assured the people that her government was taking all possible measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, saying there was no need to panic. “Taking preventive measures and vaccination is the only way to beat the pandemic,” she said, adding: “Hopefully the people would fully cooperate with the government and implement the SOPs seriously.”

Replying a query, she said a joint team had been constituted to check violation of government directives. She further said vaccinating people was the government’s foremost priority, adding: “The elderly and the people with disabilities who are unable to visit vaccination centres can call on health line 1033 to get anti-Covid-19 jabs at their homes.”

According to the latest NCOC data, the positivity ratio of coronavirus cases in Pakistan was recorded at 9.96 per cent as the country reported 43 coronavirus-related deaths, including 14 in Punjab and 17 in KP during the last 24 hours, taking the national tally of fatalities to 14,821.

Covid-19 claimed the life of another doctor in Peshawar, taking the total number of virus-related fatalities amongst doctors to 51 in the province. In a statement, provincial Doctors Association said Dr Muhammad Taufiq, a Dental Surgeon, was playing frontline role against the pandemic while treating Covid patients.

He was quarantined at home after contracting the coronavirus. He belonged to Tangi Mirza Diyaar village, Charsadda district. About, 4,323 new coronavirus cases emerged in the last 24 hours after conducting 43,362 tests. It takes the tally of positive cases to 692,231 across the country.

About 266,618 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh; 233,348 in Punjab; 92,423 in KP; 61,552 in Islamabad; 19,785 in Balochistan; 13,446 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir; and 5,059 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The number of active cases in the country was 61,450 with 3,587 patients in critical condition. About 2,902 more people recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours, taking the number of recovered cases to 615,960 with an 89 per cent recovery rate.


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